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Qualify Your Sales Pipeline
A Master Class
A path to understanding your sales pipeline
and improving the accuracy of revenue forecasting
Mark Palmer
Author, “Sales Management 2.0”
www.mark-palmer.com
©2015 Focus, LLC
About the Speaker
•  Built the fastest growing sales team at Sun
Microsystems
•  14 years of leading sales teams to greater than 100%
YOY growth
•  Author of Sales Management 2.0 - Managing in the
Sales 2.0 Environment
•  Developed qualification methodology in the
technology sector, tested horizontality in many
different markets
Mark Palmer
©2015 Focus, LLC
About this Master Class
The objective for this class is to provide you with a proven process to
better understand your sales pipeline, including:
S  A tool to analyze and update your pipeline
S  An effective system for developing accurate forecasts
S  A method to get everyone in your organization–from the new
sales rep to the CFO–on the same page regarding the forecast
©2015 Focus, LLC
If only…
S  We had a good assessment of our sales pipeline.
S  Each sales rep was using the same process.
S  We had a more accurate picture of the future.
S  All salespeople spoke the same language.
A standard process offers great potential!
©2015 Focus, LLC
Anatomy of a Sales Deal
•  Problem
•  Opportunity
•  Product
•  Services
•  Budget
•  Dollars
•  New Vendor
•  Past History
•  Decision Date
•  Funding
Available
All sales deals have the same components
©2015 Focus, LLC
What are the prospect's desired
business results?
S  What business result is the prospect trying to realize?
S  What challenges must the prospect overcome?
S  Can the prospect articulate a solution they are trying to buy?
Describe the prospect’s desired results
©2015 Focus, LLC
Do we have a solution that will accomplish the
prospect's desired outcome?
S  What solution should we be proposing?
S  How well does the solution address the prospect's objectives
versus the competition?
S  How consistent is the prospect's perception of the solution
with the expected solution?
Describe the winning solution
©2015 Focus, LLC
Is the prospect qualified
financially?
S  Is this initiative budgeted?
S  Does the solution fit within the budget?
S  Is this initiative competing with other budgeted priorities?
Describe the prospect’s financial commitment
©2015 Focus, LLC
Is the prospect willing to do
business with our company?
S  Is the prospect a current customer?
S  Is the prospect a customer of the competition?
S  Is the prospect willing to add a new vendor?
Describe challenges to doing business together
©2015 Focus, LLC
A Cautionary Tale
S  Past relationships and interactions are also important.
S  Positive or negative…
©2015 Focus, LLC
Is there a clear "impending
event?”
S  When will a decision be made?
S  What event or action will drive the sale to a close?
S  Who is in control of the timeframe to close?
Describe the prospect’s impending event
©2015 Focus, LLC
Qualification Checklist
Managers and sales people need a common view
of the pipeline
©2015 Focus, LLC
Prospect Worksheet
...they also need to speak a common language
©2015 Focus, LLC
The philosophy is based around the
following key qualification principles:
S  Qualification is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing
activity throughout the sales cycle.
S  Qualification data will be discovered with each prospect
interaction. Sales strategy should be re-evaluated continuously. 
S  Improving qualification accuracy has positive impact across
organizational boundaries.
Qualification is the BIGGEST opportunity to
improve sales productivity
©2015 Focus, LLC
S  Process and tools enable the sales rep to be continually
"up to date" on the qualification level of the prospect.
S  Accurate qualification (and tracking) provides key insights into
product and solution focus for both sales and marketing.
S  A consistent qualification process is a powerful self-development
tool for sales professionals.
Qualification leads to an objective and real-time
view of the pipeline
Key qualification principles:
©2015 Focus, LLC
Don’t let bad forecasts sabotage your business!
Mark Palmer
(916) 571-0174
mark@mark-palmer.com
©2015 Focus, LLC

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Qualify Your Sales Pipeline

  • 1. Qualify Your Sales Pipeline A Master Class A path to understanding your sales pipeline and improving the accuracy of revenue forecasting Mark Palmer Author, “Sales Management 2.0” www.mark-palmer.com ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 2. About the Speaker •  Built the fastest growing sales team at Sun Microsystems •  14 years of leading sales teams to greater than 100% YOY growth •  Author of Sales Management 2.0 - Managing in the Sales 2.0 Environment •  Developed qualification methodology in the technology sector, tested horizontality in many different markets Mark Palmer ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 3. About this Master Class The objective for this class is to provide you with a proven process to better understand your sales pipeline, including: S  A tool to analyze and update your pipeline S  An effective system for developing accurate forecasts S  A method to get everyone in your organization–from the new sales rep to the CFO–on the same page regarding the forecast ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 4. If only… S  We had a good assessment of our sales pipeline. S  Each sales rep was using the same process. S  We had a more accurate picture of the future. S  All salespeople spoke the same language. A standard process offers great potential! ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 5. Anatomy of a Sales Deal •  Problem •  Opportunity •  Product •  Services •  Budget •  Dollars •  New Vendor •  Past History •  Decision Date •  Funding Available All sales deals have the same components ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 6. What are the prospect's desired business results? S  What business result is the prospect trying to realize? S  What challenges must the prospect overcome? S  Can the prospect articulate a solution they are trying to buy? Describe the prospect’s desired results ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 7. Do we have a solution that will accomplish the prospect's desired outcome? S  What solution should we be proposing? S  How well does the solution address the prospect's objectives versus the competition? S  How consistent is the prospect's perception of the solution with the expected solution? Describe the winning solution ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 8. Is the prospect qualified financially? S  Is this initiative budgeted? S  Does the solution fit within the budget? S  Is this initiative competing with other budgeted priorities? Describe the prospect’s financial commitment ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 9. Is the prospect willing to do business with our company? S  Is the prospect a current customer? S  Is the prospect a customer of the competition? S  Is the prospect willing to add a new vendor? Describe challenges to doing business together ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 10. A Cautionary Tale S  Past relationships and interactions are also important. S  Positive or negative… ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 11. Is there a clear "impending event?” S  When will a decision be made? S  What event or action will drive the sale to a close? S  Who is in control of the timeframe to close? Describe the prospect’s impending event ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 12. Qualification Checklist Managers and sales people need a common view of the pipeline ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 13. Prospect Worksheet ...they also need to speak a common language ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 14. The philosophy is based around the following key qualification principles: S  Qualification is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing activity throughout the sales cycle. S  Qualification data will be discovered with each prospect interaction. Sales strategy should be re-evaluated continuously.  S  Improving qualification accuracy has positive impact across organizational boundaries. Qualification is the BIGGEST opportunity to improve sales productivity ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 15. S  Process and tools enable the sales rep to be continually "up to date" on the qualification level of the prospect. S  Accurate qualification (and tracking) provides key insights into product and solution focus for both sales and marketing. S  A consistent qualification process is a powerful self-development tool for sales professionals. Qualification leads to an objective and real-time view of the pipeline Key qualification principles: ©2015 Focus, LLC
  • 16. Don’t let bad forecasts sabotage your business! Mark Palmer (916) 571-0174 mark@mark-palmer.com ©2015 Focus, LLC